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Iowa Hoops: North Florida stats & preview

The Hawkeyes’ are back home after splitting their games in San Diego

NCAA Basketball: Rady Children’s Invitational-Seton Hall vs Iowa Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

After a 1-1 week where the Iowa Hawkeyes (4-2) slid two spots in KenPom (38 to 40) and rate similarly in other available metrics they return home for a quick game against the North Florida Ospreys (4-3) before seeing the schedule re-ramp in a couple road games.

The emerging storyline from Iowa’s trip to San Diego is the volatility they are still experiencing as an experienced team whose cohesiveness wanes with their ability to score. In some ways, it’s the topsy-turvy of Kirk Ferentz’s oft-referenced complementary football where the offense is subservient to the defense in the quest for victories. Only this is the defense serving at the behest of the offense.

Defense becomes easier for Iowa when the offense is good. Making shots & getting to the free throw line force opponents into half court basketball which drains clock against more set defenses. When opponents miss, Iowa can run and attack first options a unit which ranks in the top 10 in offensive possession length. Further, making those first attempts enables Iowa not to crash the offensive boards which can create even easier baskets for their opponent.

The veteran presence of Iowa responded to the Oklahoma loss with four starters getting to double digits and holding Seton Hall to just over one point per possession. While Payton Sandfort got back on track with 22 points on 7/14 shooting, it remains Ben Krikke as the stalwart of the Hawkeye attack. His ability to score from darn near anywhere inside the three-point arc is a major weapon Iowa hasn’t seen in awhile, including Luka Garza. (It’s early but Krikke’s 62.5% from 2 exceeds anything seen in Fran’s tenure from post players)

North Florida will look to counteract that with a 5-out lineup who shoots boatloads of threes at a fairly high clip. In some ways, it’s settling as they do not attack the basket well, evidenced by their 46.1% shooting from 2 and 27.8 free throw rate. They also have yet to have a concerted effort on the offensive boards with no starter exceeding 6’7”.

Iowa should be able to do what they want to offensively by generating points at the basket and getting to the free throw line but the Ospreys have done well to limit opponent opportunities from 3 – only 24.0% of opponent shots come from distance while allowing just 27.2% shooting.

It’s the type of game Iowa should win handily if they take it seriously. But if North Florida finds their groove from deep, it will allow them to do what Iowa likes to do to opponents and keep it tight behind a potent offense. Adding complexity to the game is that two of their most prolific shooters come off the bench (Jah Nze & Jake van der Heijden) and create anxiety for Iowa’s freshman-laden bench platoon.


About the Ospreys

2024 averages: Team / Opponent

PPG: 75.6 / 71.4
RPG: 35.6 / 35.9
APG: 13.0 / 10.1
TOPG: 12.0 / 11.7
FG%: .412 / .444
3P%: .347 / .261

Coach:

Matthew Driscoll: 15th year at North Florida, 15th overall
Record: 221-234 (.486)

Likely starters & 2022-23 stats:

Indiana’s projected starting lineup

Pos - # Name Yr, Ht, Wt PPG RPG APG FG% 3P% MPG Misc.
Pos - # Name Yr, Ht, Wt PPG RPG APG FG% 3P% MPG Misc.
G - #0 Xavier Johnson R Sr+, 6'3", 200 lbs 8.2 2.2 2.1 0.411 0.35 24.1
G - #32 Trey Galloway Sr, 6'5", 205 lbs 10.5 2.3 3.8 0.467 0.284 32.8 1,1 steals/game; .500 FT%
F - #4 Anthony Walker Sr+, 6'8", 215 lbs 6.4 3.1 0.8 0.5 0.154 15.6
F - #21 Mackenzie Mgbako Fr, 6'8", 217 lbs 10.9 4.3 1.4 0.406 0.329 24.1 .855 FT%
F - #5 Malik Reneau So, 6'9", 233 lbs 16.7 6.2 2.9 0.578 0.406 30.1 2.8 turnovers/game, 2.7 fouls/game

2023-24 statistical leaders:

PPG: Lanier 16.3; Jah Nze 10.1
RPG: James 6.9; Lanier 5.3
APG: Moss 2.4; Jaylen Smith 2.1
FG%: Nze .458; Lanier .452
3P% (min 7 attempts): Nze .467; Jake Van Der Heijden .452
BPG: Lliteras 1.0; Van Der Heijden 0.6
SPG: Lliteras 1.2; Lanier 1.1

Last 5 games:

L - at LSU, 75-63 (11/24)
W - v Maine, 67-58 (11/18)
W - v Northwestern State, 80-74 (11/17)
L - v Presbyterian, 81-69 (11/16)
L - at South Carolina State, 87-77 (11/13)

2024 KenPom ($):

AdjEfficiency: -10.07 (292)
AdjOffense: 101.8 (229)
AdjDefense: 111.9 (330)
AdjTempo: 68.3 (211)

2023:
AdjEfficiency: -4.89 (231)
AdjOffense: 109.7 (90)
AdjDefense: 114.6 (346)
AdjTempo: 67.8 (144)

NET: 236

Bart Torvik: 321

Evan Miyakawa: 285